Administration starts to flesh out $1 trillion infrastructure proposal

Administration starts to flesh out $1 trillion infrastructure proposal

As Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has hinted in recent weeks, President Trumpês infrastructure proposal consists of $200 billion in federal spending over the next ten years, designed to leverage private investment to reach a total of $1 trillion.

The plan would also shift more services and underused capital assets to the private sector and offer more flexibility to states if, for instance, they want to charge a toll on federal highways. The administration also aims to cut back environmental reviews and other regulations that it says are holding up infrastructure improvement.

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have said they are willing to consider tax reform and infrastructure as a single package, reported The Hill, which would make for a smoother ride for tax reform. But Congress has a lot on its plate, not the least of which is the annual ritual of agreeing to a federal budget by the September 30 deadline. Conflicting signals from the White House about the administrationês budget priorities and the work of two Congressional committees investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign are also distractions. Still, Republicans and Democrats alike recognize that infrastructure needs to be addressed, and quickly.

Any major legislative priorities should be addressed this year if possible, as 2018 will be an election year that will likely draw much more attention than the average midterm.

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